Monday 26 January 2015

The background to all choices...

The background to all choices within life was our pre-existence choice to experience mortal incarnate life.

Without awareness of this context, our choices in life cannot be understood.



gattopardo said...

How does one understand suicides who often quite explicitly choose to leave mortal incarnate life?

They pre-mortally chose to experience mortal life not knowing fully what it would be like?

Bruce Charlton said...

@g - Suicide is not a unitary phenomenon, and may be blameless (e.g. in some psychiatric situations).

But this kind of thing happens all the time - people make a free choice, then when it comes to living through the choice it is different from how it was envisaged.

In choosing incarnate mortal life, there was a real risk (a risk of choosing damnation, as a result of living, which so many modern Men apparently seem to have done) - which is why incarnate mortal life here on earth could only be a free choice.

To compel Men into mortal life, with its risk of damnation, would not have been a loving act on the part of God our Father towards his children - thus, we were not compelled, but we ourselves chose incarnate mortal life.

David said...

I generally agree with the above. I believe I chose this life as a premortal spirit and that I have a meaningful purpose in this life; both as a free agent and also by God's plan for me, although that is only (by design) partially known to me as the story unfolds. I cannot begin to say how comforting it is to 'know' this; but I almost never discovered this crucial information that, daily, Sculps my perspective on just about everything now. It took me until about aged 30 years to get this far, and when I didn't know it, or God's plan for my salvation, I was a dangerously unhinged agent, liable to veer off course into all kinds of mistakes and harmful behaviours and thinking styles. So, I must state how delighted I am. I wish I could bottle it as a 'wisdom' to ground other troubled young souls (and older ones who should know better by now) but of course I can't do that. It is often sad to see the 'lostness' in others now and the memory of my former self. I long to tell them that it doesnt have to be this way! (Nihilism, despair, the inner void) but they rarely listen, and if they do they often don't hear the good news is available only a few insights away (a few Christian Satori's if you will). This often makes me wonder about the 'veil of forgetfulness' and explanations of this I have heard from my Mormon friends. How perfectly confounding. I sometimes wish I'd already knew all this stuff in my 20's or younger or ideally, not to have forgotten my premortal life at all! But then i think, Humans can be so silly thinking about such things with so severely limited wisdom and it must be for our own good. I remember learning to ride a bike as a child and it helps me make sense of this in some small way. We learn to ride with stabilisers, a doting parent or grandparent follows us from close behind. We cannot fall, cannot really ride yet either. But then the stabilisers come off and we can fall and hurt ourselves gravely, but, we can finally ride alone and explore smiling back at our parents with the joy of independent accomplishment. That's the best way I have been able to explain it to myself so far. I wonder what you all think. The main problem is of course, when you ride away into the big bad world other boys on other bikes may not play as nicely and they are the real peril once you get out of the starting blocks not the parents (who often get most of the blame in our foolishness).

Bruce Charlton said...

@David - Rather than a veil (for our own good) I tend to think of it as a problem of communication between two radically different states -

Or perhaps like the problem of time running at different speeds on earth and in Heaven making it almost impossible to remember anything in detail; or like the problem of remembering and reporting our dreams.

In other words, it may be a problem of 'translation' - difficult, imprecise, but not altogether impossible.